October 28, 2013 10:00am PT by Michael O'Connell
Craig Ferguson to Host Syndicated Game Show 'Celebrity Name Game'
Craig Ferguson is doubling down on his TV duties. The host of CBS' The Late, Late Show has been tapped to host a new syndicated game show set to debut in fall 2014.
Celebrity Name Game, from FremantleMedia North America and Debmar-Mercury, will run in a half-hour format and is based on board game Identity Crisis. Each episode finds celebrities teaming up with contestants to identify famous names -- including actors, singers, athletes, pop culture figures, politicians and even cartoon characters.
Courteney Cox and David Arquette’s Coquette Productions developed project, and Deal or No Deal's Scott St. John is already set as showrunner.
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“I have to do a show which is of interest to me and Celebrity Name Game is certainly that," said Ferguson. "What a wonderful concept with such great potential, from two of my favorite people, Courteney and David.”
FremantleMedia North America and Debmar-Mercury have already collaborated on a game show, the Steve Harvey fronted Family Feud revival, to great ratings success.
"Celebrity Name Game is a hilarious and innovative rapid-fire game show that combines the best of pop culture with the best of comedy," said FremantleMedia's CEO Thom Beers. "We’ve had incredible success bringing world-class comedians to the world’s most successful game shows with talents such as Drew Carey, Steve Harvey and Wayne Brady. We are delighted to add the ultra-talented and witty Craig Ferguson to our family as he drives the competition and brings nonstop laughter to viewers at home."
“Celebrity Name Game will make the perfect companion to Family Feud in early fringe and access time slots next fall," added Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein. "It has every element needed for success: a great concept; a hugely popular and very funny host in Craig who, like Steve Harvey, is very natural and comfortable in the role; a who’s who list of celebrity guests that only Courteney and David can attract; outstanding production auspices with our ‘Feud’ production partners at Fremantle; and the vast experience of a highly in demand showrunner like Scott. There are no other boxes left to check.”
For Coquette (Cougar Town), this marks a first-time foray into game shows.
“We are such huge fans of game shows and believe Celebrity Name Game has the potential to truly stand out," said Cox. "We want viewers to have as much fun watching this series as we have had playing it with friends, many of whom are also big fans and want to be a part of this. Add in Craig, who is hilarious, and we have something really special here that will resonate with viewers.”
Celebrity Name Game marks another move into the recent mini-revival of celebrity-centric game shows. NBC ordered a second season of Hollywood Game Night this summer.
Jennifer Mullin joins St. John, Beers, Cox and Arquette as executive producer.